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What Types of Shrubs Are There to Choose From?


Picture of arrowwood viburnum.

Picture of arrowwood viburnum.

Courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden
Question: What Types of Shrubs Are There to Choose From?
The types of shrubs available for landscaping fall roughly into the needled evergreen (e.g., yews), broadleaf evergreen (e.g., Hetz Japanese holly) and deciduous (e.g., Virginia sweetspire) categories. But there's another way to categorize them that may be more intuitive for some readers....

While botanists work hard at classification systems that are necessary for science, everyday people will often classify plants according to their use in the landscape. For example, some shrubs may be great for hedges, others for fall color. I discuss the types of garden shrubs available (and their uses) in my full article on landscape shrubs. The links in that article will take you to pages with more detailed information about each type of shrub. For those who prefer an overview in pictures, please consult the following:

Have you ever asked yourself, "Should I call that plant a 'tree' or a 'shrub'?" In the next FAQ on garden bushes, I'll tell you the rule of thumb the experts use to draw the proper distinction.

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